Happy Birthday Jesus - 1598
Christmas is the time that was set aside to celebrate the birth of
Jesus Christ. In the world today the celebration has changed its
focus. The true Christmas is not about the trees, presents to one
another nor the yule tide carols. Christmas is about the birth of
Jesus Christ, Son of God, who came to earth to offer the Way of
salvation to God, the Truth to walk in, and eternal Life for all men.
Biblical scholars do not know the time of Jesus’ birth because
early Christians left no record of His birth-date. There are hints
that point to a season, but no exact date of His birth. There is no
mention of December 25th before the fourth century. Pope Julius I.
(A.D. 337-352) designated December 25 as the proper day to celebrate
the birth of Jesus Christ and the custom has spread throughout the
earth as the day to say Happy Birthday to Jesus among the churches.
The world picked up the celebration and changed the focus to Santa
Claus and presents. .
We have many adopted children and none of them know the exact
date of their birth, some don’t even know their true year that they
were born. Never the less we celebrate the date that was assigned to
them in their orphanage as their birthday. If we did not celebrate
their birthday because of the fact that it is not their true
birth-date, we would miss an opportunity to bless them. Some
Christians have decided not to celebrate for the reason of it not
being the real birthday and have missed a great opportunity to bless
Jesus with their gifts.
You know I love the way that God always breaks out of the boxes we
create for Him. When we think we have Him figured out He does
something that doesn’t fit in with our theology or thinking. There is
a true miracle story that happened in 1997 in the state of Wisconsin.
Now I don’t believe is Santa Claus and he is not included in our
Christmas celebration, but God used a hired Santa in this miracle.
“A little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at The Mayfair
Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on Santa lap, holding a
picture of a little girl.” The little girl was his sister who was
dying of Leukemia in a nearby hospital. He asked Santa to go and see
his sister in the hospital and pray for her. Being a Christian that
Santa went and laid hands on little Sarah as he prayed for her
The next year a at the same mall where Sarah’s brother make his
request to Santa a little girl came to see Santa. She said, “Hi,
Santa! Remember me?” “You came to see me in the hospital last year!”
He saw Sarah’s grandmother smiling as she wiped away her tears of joy.
Sarah was healed! “She had been pronounced Cancer-free and was alive
and well. Santa “ looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank
you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”
Some Christians get so hung up in not celebrating Christmas
because of it not being His true birth date that they miss the whole
purpose of the day. Many years ago we were in the Shepherding
Movement. The shepherd over us declared that we could not celebrate
Christmas because it was not the true birth-date of Jesus and that
there was a pagan holiday that actually was celebrated many centuries
ago on that date. One lone Scripture was picked out to back up not
decorating a Christmas tree. We later found out that shepherd didn’t
see any point in celebrating Christmas and His family had suffered
through the holidays for many years even before him becoming a
We spent the most miserable holiday season of our lives during
those three years. Our children were greatly affected and no one
around us was touched during the holiday season. It was a waste of
value time and added nothing to the Kingdom of God.
When many hearts are turned to thinking about Jesus during the
Christmas season even in the midst of commercialism lives are touched.
The laborers in God’s harvest field have extra opportunities during
this time because of the prayers of the saints. It as a great
opportunity to touch many lives for Jesus.
As we celebrate the birthday of Jesus it is only natural that we
should give the One whose birthday we are celebrating gifts. Searching
the Bible we found many gifts that Jesus would like to receive from
us. Somehow I don’t think He is interested in the birthday cake that
we will eat, but He is blessed by what we do for others and how we
touch their lives. In the Bible it says that whatever we do to the
least of them among us we do unto Jesus. Mt 25:42-45. Giving to those
who are in need of food and clothing are among the gifts to Him. There
are many among us who are in need of food and clothes this Christmas.
When we care for the sick with His love and compassion those acts are
a gift to Jesus. This is a principle of God in action. When your
children are touched you are touched and blessed. With God it is like
that, when we touch His children, He is touched and receives it as a
gift from us.
We have experienced a touch of Jesus through others as we are
walking in the last days of our son’s journey with ALS. I cannot tell
you how much kind words at just the right moment have meant to me
personally as we continue through this difficult journey. It has meant
so much to us when others have come to pray for our son Nathan and to
take the time to visit him. Those who have brought food dishes and in
so many ways have touched all our lives with the touch of Jesus. It
has been like Jesus touching and encouraging us.
There are many folks in nursing homes who never have a visitor. A
wonderful gift to Jesus is to visit a nursing home and touch a soul.
When we visit the sick and those in prison Jesus is visited. When we
adopt children who are in great need of love and care we have touched
and blessed the heart of God. Isa 58:7. And I can tell you the you
will be blessed by God. This Christmas we hope to final little
Last March we received a call from a family who were disrupting
their adoption. I had been trying to help them find a qualified family
for their little four-year old adopted son from South Korea. We
thought that we found the right family and all the legal matters were
taken care of when they flew into Seattle with little Samuel. On the
way from the airport to the lawyers office the other family text-ed
them and said that they had changed their minds and would not adopt
Samuel. The family called us in desperation and asked if we would give
Samuel respite care until they could decide what to do next. We are
set up to do with my organization New Hope For Adopted International
Kids so Samuel came our home that evening.
As months passed Samuel grew into all our hearts and it became
hard to think about him going to another family. The end of April his
family called and said they would proceed with him going to another
family and that they really only wanted our family to be the one for
Samuel. God had already prepared our hearts, even at our ages, to love
and nurture little Samuel. My husband Ralph said, “He is Samuel so who
does that make me? “ I said, “Eli”. Eli was the old priest in the
Bible that Hannah brought Samuel to. We laughed.
Some of you know the story about my hair. After our third adoption
from China I made a promise to God that I would love and care for
every child He brought to me as our own. Our deal was that this would
happen before my hair turned gray. I thought I was safe in that
promise as my hair was already turning gray. Well, my hair has almost
turned gray 11 times and back to auburn since that promise and we have
adopted 14 children. And my hair has still not turned gray! Perhaps
after Samuel’s adoption is final-ed it will turn. God and I have
laughed many times over this matter. I love His humor and Ways. Loving
little Samuel as unto the Lord is my gift to Jesus this Christmas and
I am blessed with the sweetest gooey kisses along with “I love you
Around our kitchen table a few days ago we were discussing what
gifts we wanted to give to Jesus this year. I made flash cards
describing gifts to give Jesus as we celebrate His birthday. Each
family member picked one that they felt they would like to give Jesus.
A few examples are: visit a sick person, say something kind to someone
who looks like they are struggling, touch a person who is mourning the
loss of a loved one with a special note. This is what Christmas is
really all about, touching others and loving on Jesus. This is the
birthday celebration that brings a smile to His face.